As if on cue, autumn chill has enveloped central Missouri on this first day of October. Though a gray overcast defies the season and few colors paint the woodlands, the date and the air signal that the hot, muggy days of summer are unlikely to return until mid May or so.
Naturalists and birders anticipate migrant waterfowl in the coming weeks while almost everyone looks forward to the colorful foliage and pumpkin harvest. Mild, sunny days and crisp, clear nights are the rule during October (especially here in the Midwest) and its name evokes memories of outdoor adventure for all but the most dedicated couch potatoes.
Though I favor the Temperate Zone, where four distinct seasons unfold, I'd take six months of October without complaint. It's easily my favorite time of the year and I'm in no hurry to face the Holidays. The cool, invigorating air of October is enough to cheer my soul.